Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Enteritis (LPE) in Angora Goats
By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Thursday, 3rd June 2021

The weak, loss of condition and death of young Angora goats.

What is LPE?

Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Enteritis (LPE) is a form of infiltrative bowel disease caused by an abnormal immune response.


What are the clinical signs?

On the farms where the condition has been diagnosed, it has been the same picture of weaned to just under 2yrs old Angora kids/young goats, which are:

  • Weak
  • Not gaining weight or weight loss
  • Some with diarrhoea (not always the case)
  • Some are fading away and dying.
  • All the affected goats have had a low Albumin (blood protein) level of between 16-26 g/l. (Normal goats range 30-37g/l).


Can the condition be treated?

Successful treatment has not been definitively proven in horses with LPE. Corticosteroids are usually administered and may improve or resolve diarrhoea, but generally not the weight loss. There have been some rare reports of the resolution of LPE with corticosteroids (Schumacher, 2009), but the prognosis has been poor.

Medications used to treat human and small animal versions of LPE have been administered. To date, none of these treatment approaches have shown efficacy.

Is there any benefit of treating Angora goats (apart from the potential stimulation of internal parasites? A field study was monitored to determine if there was any benefit.


Response to treatment in Angora goats

Thanks to Grant Marais of the farm Oatlands for allowing us to treat his goats that had PLE.

In the field study, 25 goats kids (9 months old) that showed similar clinical signs of PLE to a post mortem conducted a month previously were randomly selected and divided into four groups.

All groups had been fed a lick and lucerne hay. Weight approx. 10-12kg

White: Control group: No treatment.

Yellow: Steroid anti-inflammatory: Dexamethazone:  three treatments of 1ml (2mg), repeated after 48, 96 hrs

Blue: Mineral, Vitamin supplement (in this case B Co Bolic, Camino- a number of options available)

Red: Antibiotic Maxisulf LA 1.5 ml i/m (Sodium Sulphadimethoxine,Natriumsulfadimetoksien) repeated 48,96 hrs



The improvement in Albumin levels was significant over the month and indicates that young Angora goats recover naturally while well-fed and kept free of internal parasites.

Treatment does have a benefit, and giving all three may have an accumulative effect?

Interestingly, similar treatments in another field study we conducted to determine the recovery of Albumin levels post Coccidiosis/Brown stomach worm showed very similar results.

See the graph below where the treatment with Antibiotics, Mineral and Vitamins and Steroidal anti-inflammatory made a significant difference to recovery rates compared to no treatments over the first three weeks. Treatments were given on day 0, 3 and 7 which was similar to the above treatments.



A:  Mineral Vitamin - Byboost ‘Kickstart’ (Bayer)

B: Steroid (Dexamethasone)

C: Antibiotic (Peni LA)

D: Add lib Pellets (feed) It appears that up until day 28, the kids with ad-lib pellets did not perform much better than the equivalent kids in the veld (E). The rate of improvement increased after day 21. Possibly due to the recovery of the gastr0-intestinal tract and parietal cells (acid secreting-pH)

E: No additional treatment (apart from treating parasites)

F: No treatment We can see from the graph that the protein levels continued to drop. For welfare reasons, we treated these kids for Brown Stomach Worm and Coccidiosis on day 7 after which they started to improve. It is quite obvious that the underlying problem of Brown Stomach/Coccidiosis must be treated.


Detail of the Hypoalbinaemia (low blood protein) field study following coccidiosis and brown stomach worm can be found at



It does appear in Angora goats diagnosed with LPE or following coccidiosis or brown stomach worm infection that there is merit in treating these goats (after parasites are clear) with:

  1. Mineral vitamin supplements
  2. Antibiotics
  3. Steroidal anti-inflammatory

It is important to remember that LPE is an abnormal immune response, so it is vital that young kids are on a high nutritional level and do not have any trace element deficiencies (supplement mineral/vitamins) to maintain a healthy immune system as well as ensuring internal parasites(roundworms and coccidiosis) are well managed.


Details of LPE (Lymphocytic-Plasmacytic Enteritis) can be found on our website

Dr Mackie Hobson



*Lymphocytic enteritis and systemic vasculitis in sheep – C.A.Rae.

**Kemper, D.L. et al (2000) Equine lymphocytic-plasmacytic enterocolitis: a retrospective study of 14 cases. Equine vet. J., Suppl. 32:108-112.Schumacher, J. (2009) Infiltrative Bowel Diseases. In: Current Therapy in Equine Medicine 6, ed. N.E. Robinson. Saunders, St Louis, Missouri p. 441.Schumacher, J. (2000) Chronic Idiopathic Inflammatory Bowel Disease of the Horse. J. Vet

*** Lymphocytic-plasmacytic enterocolitis in a cow. O'Leary, Davies A, The Veterinary Record, 01 Apr 1994.

**** WSAVA 2002 Congress. Fernando Rodríguez-Franco, Ana Rodríguez-Castaño, Antonio Rodríguez-Bertos

Schumacher, J. (2009) Infiltrative Bowel Diseases. In: Current Therapy in Equine Medicine 6, ed. N.E. Robinson. Saunders, St Louis, Missouri p. 441.

Schumacher, J. (2000) Chronic Idiopathic Inflammatory Bowel Disease of the Horse. J. Vet

Rick Last (Vetdiagnostix) Histopathology reports



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